Today back home, we are celebrating our 71st Independence Day in India. For me it was an emotional roller costar day. I was missing home, was happy seeing the flag hosting pictures, school celebration social media post and our leaders inspiring talks etc.
I have been living away from India for more than 2 years now, and after so many years of living only today I wondered what 15th Aug means to me or for that matter for my fellow Indians. Yes, it’s a day to celebrate the freedom we got after fighting so hard and sacrificing so many freedom fighters lives. The question I have is, what are we celebrating for?
Our freedom fighters fought for a free nation, where we are no more slaves of anyone and have all the freedom we want in this life. But what’s the point of this freedom and celebration I wonder again. Our minds are not really free!
Religion: How easily today we categorize people based on their religion and cast. It starts right from the birth, when we label a child – Hindu, Muslim, Sikh, Christian in his or her birth certificate and they land up living for that tag forever. We divided our own free land into religious minds and we are subconsciously fighting a mental war against each other, is this Independence? When can we stop dividing ppl based on their religion? Well, I have no answer for this? I am personally fighting my own war and hope no religion wins, but humanity WINS. I wish I embraced true independence in my mind.
State Divisions: Oh Yes! This is classic, How many times in your day u say- “She is a tamilian”, “He is a Punjabi”, “She is from Bengal” and how strong our stereotypes are related to people from different parts of India. Isn’t it funny? So did Gandhi or for that matter our leaders fought this freedom war just to wake up from their grave and see fellow Indians talking ill and segmenting people based on which part of India they come from?
No matter how educated or smart we are, we lovely Indians can’t stop diving people. I guess it’s our skill set.
Language War: We might be the only country, which has no National Language, however for us English and Hindi are our official languages. Why u ask? Well because we speak close to 18 different languages, and how can one language win? Thus, if you are living in a particular state and if you don’t know the state language, it’s a disgrace, you will be made to feel like an outsider. So independence is not about which language u wish to learn and speak. When will we liberate our self from this languages war and say fuck everything… lets make respect, honesty, and kindness mode of communication and not Kannada, Bengali etc.
Well if I can communicate to Chinese people using these languages, I am sure it won’t be that difficult for we Indians.
Gender Equality: This is a huge topic, and I know lots of things are changing. But still, when will we stop objectifying women in India. A woman is supposed to do this and that, is this what Independence means to you or us? Why can’t u give every woman this Independence of letting her make her own choice, out of love and not out of society pressure?
Status Quote: To explain this point, let me narrate you a story. I was waiting at this Delhi airport and a mid age woman shared my table and started telling me about her son living in US and passed out from IIT. She must be proud of her son, which I could see, but it took a twist in the story when 2 other girls joined our table. One was doing her MS in US and the other girl was doing her media studies. Guess what? That woman started giving more attention and respect to the MS girl. So here’s my question to the entire well educated and highly classy Indians – Was Independence gifted to us so that we treat people differently based on their social, financial and educational status?
Why is that we have this mental barometer, when it comes to respecting people coming from different walks of life and class.
Did our great freedom fighters fight for India’s Independence to see all that’s boiling up in India? My dear friends, as you end your today’s day and head back to a normal routine life from tomorrow, I want you guys to ask yourself, how full of double standards and a hypocrite life we are living in spite of this blessed freedom. This is not a national war, it's a fight with our selves. Fight to free yourself from the thoughts, which divide our own land. I wish we all WIN this war soon, so that if I ever have kids, help them breath is a truly Independent India.
Happy Independence Day!